Social Security and Medicare (FICA) Taxes


FICA taxes are a set of three specific taxes that are generally required to be withheld from an employee’s earning. These three taxes are:
  • Social Security tax
  • Regular Medicare tax
  • Medicare surtax imposed on income greater than $200,000
F-1 and J-1 Students, who are non-residents for tax purposes and have proper work authorization (on campus work, authorized OPT or CPT, etc.) are exempted from the paying FICA taxes.
 
Please note that J dependents with work authorization are not exempted from FICA taxes.
 
I am an F-1 or J-1 student who qualifies for the FICA tax exemption, but social security or Medicare taxes were withheld from my earnings. What should I do?
 
For an On campus employer:
 
  1. Ensure that you have properly and completely set up a GLACIER account through your payroll department.
  2. Request a refund from your payroll department, in writing.
    • This step must be completed before proceeding with any other options.
  3. If your payroll department refunds the improperly withheld funds you have no further steps to take.
  4. If your payroll department cannot provide the refund, ensure that you get their answer in writing.
  5. Proceed with one of the other options for requesting the FICA tax refund from the IRS. 
 
For an Off Campus Employer through OPT, CPT, or Academic Training:
 
  1. Request the refund from your employer in writing.
    • This step must be completed prior before proceeding with any other options.
  2. If the employer refunds the improperly withheld funds, you have no further steps to take.
  3. If the employer indicates that they will not refund the withheld funds, ensure that you get their answer in writing.
  4. Proceed with one of the other options for requesting the FICA tax refund from the IRS.

Requesting FICA tax refund from the IRS:
 
  • Ensure that you have first requested the employer to refund the FICA taxes in writing.
  • You may choose to have Sprintax assist you with the FICA tax refund request.
    • Please note that you would be responsible for any fees associated with the FICA tax refund.
  • You may choose to apply for the FICA tax refund from the IRS own your own.
    • For more information about this process email iss@tamu.edu.

International Student Services Advisors and Staff are NOT Tax Professionals or Certified Public Accountants. ANY ADVICE IN THIS COMMUNICATION IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY.